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Atty. Joan Dymphna Saniel-Amit

Michelle Jerez Barranco, Paralegal
Re: Annie delos Angeles and Antonio delos Angeles case Under the Civil Code provisions on Paternity and Filation, is
filiation be proven without need of paternity test. And whether
the husbands act to impugn the legitimacy of their child
already prescribed in accordance with Civil Laws. Whether
of pregnancy be a valid ground for annulment of marriage.
January 21, 2015

This memo contains the pertinent laws, jurisprudence as well as the response to the issues
presented below.

We tend to confirm that the husband of our client can no longer impugn the paternity of
his child because his action has prescribed, he could impugn the legitimacy, and the prima facie
evidence against him is so powerful that he could not overcome it.

1. Under the Civil Code provisions on Paternity and Filation, is filiation can be proved
without need of a paternity test.
2. Whether the husbands act to impugn the legitimacy of their child has already prescribed
according to Art. 170 of the Civil Code.

In case that the previous issues have been decided, can the alleged concealment of
pregnancy of the wife be a valid ground for annulment of marriage?

Brief Answer
In issue 1: YES. He can impugn the legitimacy of his child. Following the ground
provided under Article 166 and 172 of the Family Code. In issue 2: The act of husband in
impugning the legitimacy of his child has prescribed. In issue 3: No. preponderance of evidence
is needed to prove our client is guilty of fraud. It cannot also be invoked as a valid ground for
annulment, as the wife is already five months pregnant at the time of marriage, still husband
continued to cohabit and support the child as regards to the fact that there is doubt if it is his
child, it is deemed waived.

Statement of Facts
Our client, Annie delos Angeles, has been married to Antonio delos Angeles since
January 29, 2011. She was allegedly five months pregnant with their son at the time of their
After their marriage, being a military man, her husband was assigned to different parts of
the country and would only visit her once in a while. He would send her support but it was
irregular. His last visit was around a year ago already where they had a quarrel. After that, he
never came back and did not also send support for her and their son. Thus, she went to his office
to complain that her husband was not giving her and their son any support.
A few months later, our client received a summons for a petition for annulment of
marriage filed by her husband in Davao City around one month ago on the ground of fraud.
According to him, she had concealed the fact that during their marriage, she was already
pregnant from another man as he was made to believe that the child was his. Now he was

questioning the paternity of the child since according to him, the child was born less than nine
months from the time they had sexual intercourse with his wife.
Since the child was born, this was the first time he had questioned his paternity. She was
willing to undergo a DNA test but cant afford it.

Analysis on Issue I
As provided under Article 166 of the Family Code, Legitimacy of a child may be
impugned only on the following grounds:

(1) That it was physically impossible for the husband to have sexual intercourse with
his wife within the first 120 days of the 300 days which immediately preceded the
birth of the child because of:
(a) the physical incapacity of the husband to have sexual intercourse
with his wife;
(b) the fact that the husband and wife were living separately in such a
way that sexual intercourse was not possible; or
(c) serious illness of the husband, which absolutely prevented sexual
(2) That it is proved that for biological or other scientific reasons, the child could not
have been that of the husband, except in the instance provided in the second
paragraph of Article 164;
The presumption that a child born during a lawful marriage is always presumed a
legitimate child becomes conclusive in the absence of proof that there was a physical

impossibility of access between the spouses in the first 120 days of the 300 days which
immediately preceded the birth of the child. Thus, the ground to impugn the legitimacy of the
child under the first paragraph of the above quoted provision is based on the impossibility that
the husband is the father of the child delivered by his wife.
Consequently, it must be proven beyond reasonable doubt the physical impossible of the
husband to have sexual intercourse with his wife during the period of conception. If no evidence
that could establish the guilt of his wife, then the doubt should be resolved in favor of legitimacy
of his filiation towards the child.
However, the court may tend to order for DNA testing if there is a need thereto.
In addition, the paternity can be impugned in cases of biological and scientific reasons that the
child could not have been that of the husband.
Furthermore, under Article 172 of the same law states that the filiation of legitimate
children is established by any of the following:
(1) The record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment;
Based on the stated facts, Article 172 is deemed applicable in this case at hand provided
that there must be the participation of the father in the proceedings.

Analysis on Issue II
As provided under Article 170 of the Family Code, The action to impugn the
legitimacy of the child shall be brought within one year from the knowledge of the birth or
its recording in the civil register, if the husband or, in a proper case, any of his heirs, should
reside in the city or municipality where the birth took place or was recorded.

If the husband or, in his default, all of his heirs do not reside at the place of birth as
defined in the first paragraph or where it was recorded, the period shall be two years if
they should reside in the Philippines; and three years if abroad. If the birth of the child has
been concealed from or was unknown to the husband or his heirs, the period shall be
counted from the discovery or knowledge of the birth of the child or of the fact of
registration of said birth, whichever is earlier.

As according to the first paragraph of Article 170, the husband can impugn only have 1
year from the knowledge or recording in the civil registrar of the birth of his child. In the very
case, since they are married on January 29, 2011, it took him 4 years to question the legitimacy
of his filiation to the child. Therefore, it has already prescribed.

Analysis on Issue III

Under Article 45 of the Family Code, marriage may be annulled for any of the following
cases, existing the time of the marriage:
(3) the consent of either party obtained by fraud, unless such party
afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with
the other as husband and wife:..
Under Article 46 of the same Code, any of the following circumstances constitute fraud
referred to in number 3 of the preceding article.
(2) Concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage,
she was pregnant by a man other that her husband

The abovementioned provisions are the ground for valid annulment of marriage. In this
case at bar, the concealment by the wife of her pregnancy by a man other than her husband could
only be appreciated as fraud only when concealment of pregnancy is still very possible. Thus, a
husband can no longer claim concealment of pregnancy of his wife if his wife was already
pregnant for five months at the time of marriage as her physical condition is very visible in the
first glance. Moreover, it must be proven by preponderance of evidence to constitute a valid
ground for annulling their marriage.
Herein, the husband cannot invoke fraud as a ground of the annulment in absence of clear
and sufficient evidence against our client. The burden of proof for the guilt of our client is on the
adverse party and in the absent thereof, the presumption that our client is innocent will prevail.

On the very case, our client should supply the record of birth of their child to be
considered as prima facie evidence as being entered into a public document which in the
proceedings must have been participated by her husband following the provisions of Civil Law
specifically on Article 172. The fact that the husband cannot impugn the legitimacy his filiation
as he continued to cohabit with his wife for years and he only brought up the question of the
legitimacy of their child 4 years after, his action has already prescribed (Article 170, Family
Code). Also, the annulment case would not prosper as there is lack of preponderance of evidence
to prove the guilt against our client regarding the fraud as alleged by the adverse party (Article
45 & 46, Family Code).

The case regarding the legitimacy of filiation must be decided first to prove that the
ground of annulment of marriage based on the concealment as a fraud would be applicable in this
case at bar.